Monday, 22 August 2016

Euro Tour: Gyor to Esztergom// Being scared of dogs and referring to my bike and I as 'we'

My penultimate day cycling, almost broke me. That Hungarian man yesterday was such a lying bastard. It rained ALL fricken day and I had a head wind. ALL. FRICKEN. DAY.

I had 90km ahead and I wanted to get to Esztergom in time to have a proper look around so I left Gyor crazy early. People trying to sleep in my hostel, I love you too.

The Danube path is marked but you have to pay attention as some signs are quite small. Often I don't see one for a while and wondered if perhaps i'd missed it and was way off track. I didn't. I wasn't.

You pass a lovely little town called Acs where despite the relentless rain, people are really friendly and there is bike service cafe that I would have stopped at had I not been so desperate to get to Esztergom and put on dry clothes.

A long stretch of today's ride ran parallel to a railway line on a deserted path which is always reassured me I'm heading in the right direction in lieu of having the Danube to guide me.

The Velo path took me off road A LOT. Through farms with mud dirt roads with massive holes that filled with rain water. My poor bike.

I'm a tiny bit scared of dogs and I'd heard that Hungary had lots of packs of wild dogs roaming the countryside. I thought I saw a dog in a distance so although I was scared, I thought I could fight one dog if I had to. Then I saw lots of other dogs joining it so I went into panic mode and was about to turn around and pedal as fast as I could until I found some humans to cry to. Suddenly a figure appeared among the dogs. 

So that was a  shepherd, and they weren't dogs, they were sheep.  

I casually cycled past and said. He looked at me weirdly and said hello back. I’ve since found out that hallo means goodbye. I've been greeting everyone like that. Who does that?

The rural style paths soon ended and I was on a cycle path running parallel to a main road. 

There are railway tracks across the road a lot and obviously I fell off my bike sliding in one because that's apparently what I do. Why would you put massive metal slippery things in the road? I don't get train and tram lines, I think they are out to get me.

When it happened a second time, I knew it was personal. I was so bruised and broken I cried hysterically while cycling then broke up the crying by laughing at myself at being so ridiculous for crying.

I've been on the road for a while now and I miss home. I'm feeling extreme highs but also extreme lows more on this trip than other. 

I stayed at the very bike friendly Kaleidoszkop Haz Hostel. The staff are so nice and just leave you to it. I showered then went to the nearby supermarket bought a load of food to cook in the kitchen.

Esztergom is beautiful, people are really friendly. Climb the back stairs up to the Cathedral where the view of the Danube is divine. You can look across to Slovakia.

Tomorrow is my last day of cycling. i’ve done over 1000 miles.

I’ve started referring to my bike and I as ‘we’ and am having private jokes with myself. Oh and my Instagram feed looks like i’m on honeymoon with my bike. I’m ready to go home I miss my mum and I want a bath.

Oh, by the way, if you want some tips on dealing with dogs while cycling, listen to this Stanfords Travel Podcast on the lure of long distance cycling panel discussion with Oli Broom, Tim Moore, Hannah Reynolds and William Fotheringham.

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